New Hampshire out of the National ID!
Watch a video of the rally in Concord on YouTube!
It's great to see there is still so much enthusiasm for keeping New Hampshire free of the REAL ID Act. The phone has been ringing off the hook with people asking what do to next.
As you may have noticed, it is election season, which means politicians from US Representatives down to State Reps are looking for your votes. Best thing you can do right now is to ask the candidates their stand on Real ID and whether they favor or oppose New Hampshire's participation. Get them on record now while they are looking for your vote. Then hold them accountable for their pledge when this issue comes in front of the legislature next year.
Council and Hearings
To their credit, the Executive Council has not put the Real ID funding on the agenda, and Governor Lynch has declined any move to put it before the Council. But that does not mean he truly opposes Real ID, just that he has questions about it. Keep the pressure on, as there will be at least one new Executive Councilor next year and that could change the equation.
The senate has created an ad-hoc "task force" to "study the impact" of Real ID. They were supposed to meet Wednesday, August 23, but the meeting was cancelled. We weren't given a reason, could be as simple as a scheduling problem or because they found out we would be there. We will keep you informed as soon as we know the time and date of the next hearing.
Check the action page for what you can do to help.
Fiscal Committe Votes Against You
At August's meeting of the Fiscal Committee the news was not nearly so good as we had hoped. The committee voted 8-2 to accept the federal grant to put New Hampshire into compliance with the Real ID mandate.
Senator Peter Burling has already promised to introduce legislation to keep NH out of the program next year. Our efforts now must focus on the Executive Council and the Governor's office to prevent us from taking the grant money and buying in to the program.
Check the newest articles in the news section for continual updates.
Fiscal Committee Tables Again
The Fiscal committee met again in July, this time with the Department of Safety there to testify, and they kept the federal grant money tabled. We're not entirely sure why. Perhaps it was that our volunteers were at the hearings. Perhaps it was that the true cost of this program was known to enough members of the committee that they'd rather just ignore it. Perhaps it was the growing opposition to Real ID within the Executive Council.
Bill Amended, Then Killed
We had a setback in the Senate; HB1582 was passed by both the House and the Senate, but in two different versions. The original House version states NH will not participate; the watered down Senate version sets up a 16 member study committee.
We were hoping for a committee of conference, but the Senate refused to form one, so the bill died.
The House and Senate Fiscal Committee has the authority to begin accepting the $3,000,000 federal grant that the state has been promised to be a pilot state for REAL ID. If this money is accepted, it will make it significantly harder for us to opt-out later. They've met every month since and have tabled the taking of the money every time.
So that's the status of HB1582. What's the next step?
This Thursday is the one year anniversary of President Bush signing the REAL ID Act into law. To remind our representatives that we will not forget about this issue, we've proposed a statewide contact your representatives day! On Thursday, May 11th, please contact your state senator and ask them keep New Hampshire out of the REAL ID act. You can find their information here. More on this tomorrow, with specific details on how all the senators voted on bill.
A follow up on our earlier action - we need to collect any remaining yard signs that we still have out there. Let's keep New Hampshire clean and gather those up. Thanks!Finally, huge thanks to our volunteers who have been doing the work of freedom for the last 2 months. From the dozens of people who joined us at the State House, to people who placed signs across the state, to those who called and emailed their freinds, co-workers and senators, to our donors and everyone who attended the rally, all of your efforts are appreciated more than we can say. We're going to keep fighting!
You can look at a history of the votes on HB1582.
Rally at State House in Concord
On the heels of the successful press confrence and public hearing, NH Against National ID announced a massive rally in front of the State House on Main Street in Concord for April 22nd, from 11am to 1pm.
Speakers include Rep. Neal Kurk, Pastor Garrett Lear, Katherine Albrecht, with more to come.
Read about what happened.
Say NO to the REAL ID — and reject a multi-million $$ tax on NH drivers!President Bush signed the REAL ID Act into law last year, turning your state driver's license into a de facto national ID card. You will have to show it to enter a federal building, open a bank account, or board a plane. Here are just a few of the reasons why REAL ID is a terrible idea.
The REAL ID means long lines and more money from youREAL ID means the entire bureaucratic hassle of establishing your identity — to the satisfaction of the federal government — is shifted to your local DMV. Just to renew your license, you'll have to scrounge up a long list of identity documents. Then, after wasting hours and money getting the paperwork, you can expect to wait in long lines just to update your driver's license. You can expect increased fees to pay for all that extra work, too.
The REAL ID puts you at risk of identity theftREAL ID creates a NATIONWIDE database that will make your personal information (photo, birth date, SSN, home address, driving record, biometric data, etc.) available to the federal government -- and every other state. This database will be a gold mine for identity thieves and junk marketers. (Especially since California DMV workers have been arrested for making bogus ID's out of real drivers' information — and giving them to criminals.)
REAL ID will create a bureaucratic nightmare — and cost a fortuneREAL ID is an unfunded mandate. It won't be cheap to create a huge government bureaucracy to collect, verify, and share massive amounts of personal data. Experts estimate that REAL ID compliance will cost Pennsylvania $85 million, Washington state over $45 million annually for several years, and Virginia could pay up to $169 million, plus $63 million a year after that. It could cost more than $12 million to convert our NH driver's licenses into National ID cards, but the federal government has only promised us $3 million. The rest of that burden will fall on you and me — the citizens and taxpayers of New Hampshire.
[*Source: AP News and security expert Bruce Schneier]
REAL ID will destroy your hard-won privacy protectionsIn New Hampshire, we're careful about our privacy. We fought for the right to have our photographs and SSN's removed from NH's database so they will not fall prey to abuse (like what happened in other states where everyone's ID photos were sold to marketers). The federal government wants to take these protections away from us, forcing us to share our photos and home addresses with everyone else in the system.
National ID is the mark of a Police StateAmerica has always been a free country. This is not a totalitarian regime where authorities can demand "Your papers, please!" of citizens. New Hampshire, the "Live Free or Die" state, is one of the last strongholds of freedom in the country. Let's put a stop to the encroaching police state. If we don't stand up for our rights, who will?
Here's the good news: there's a way out!